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xRTML 3.0 Makes Websites Come “Alive”

Interview with Sergio Costa, Realtime developer evangelist

Hi Sergio, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions It's been only half a year since the release of xRTML 2.0 - how significant an advance is the 3.0 release?

Sergio Costa, Realtime Developer Evangelist: xRTML 2.0 was a release we did with a lot of core changes that we felt were necessary at the time. It was something too big to be a minor release so we decided to increase the major release and launch it as 2.0. This new release, 3.0, introduces a lot of new and exciting features, such as the new templating model, storage, new inheritance model and versioning, and it's a real breakthrough for our framework. If I could, I would even name it 4.0 or 5.0! But I think people would think we were nuts if we skipped a version.

With the 2.0 release the "M" in xRTML came to stand for "multiplatform" rather than "markup" - does 3.0 continue that trend?

Costa: It does. xRTML is not just about the Web. The release we did right now was all about the JavaScript (Web) version but we are hard at work to bring all the other APIs up to speed with great features.

What are the most important enhancements in xRTML 3.0?

Costa: I would say the core changes, the templating system and storage. These three alone make for a lot of hours of coding and really bring xRTML to a new level. Of course, all the other new features, such as metadata and tag inheritance, are important-and very handy-but the three ones I named, for me, are the most amazing ones. The xRTML team really did a wonderful job.

Did developer feedback play a significant role in the xRTML 3.0 design?

Costa: Definitely! We built the Realtime Framework and xRTML with developers in mind and we are always trying to gather their feedback to see how we can improve these tools and get them to work better and faster. We are developers ourselves so we know how important it is to have a good framework that lets you build your applications comfortably, securely and fast. Developers have a major role in our build process as we are listening and trying to solve issues that may rise up and cope with their needs.

Does xRTML 3.0 lower the learning curve for creating Realtime apps?

Costa: That's the whole reason for the existence of xRTML. Developers can start building their Realtime applications in literally a matter of minutes. They can start seeing results immediately with little effort and without having to learn a massive, complicated framework.

We see that the new storage layer is a beta release - is xRTML now a mature platform or is it still a work in progress?

Costa: Both. xRTML is very much a mature product, although we are always trying to evolve it and make it better and easier to work with. Storage is something very new and we are planning on adding some interesting and exciting features to it that will further help developers build amazing applications. We decided to launch it as beta to get feedback from developers and build it using their suggestions. Again: developers are a huge part of how we develop our framework.

Does the contest for developers to submit their Realtime apps to a distinguished panel of judges signal a greater emphasis on community building and developer adoption?

Costa: The contest is something we wanted to do for some time, along with other events, but we decided to postpone for a few reasons. It is indeed a way for us to approach developers and incentivize them to use the framework and experiment with the technology. Developers who want to enter the contest should visit contest.xrtml.org and read all about it there. We have a great panel of judges and very cool prizes to give away.

We know we have great technology, we truly believe in it and in what the real time Web might be, and we now just need to get developers to give it a try, think about what they can do with it, and start creating the next-generation Web and mobile apps.

Does xRTML 3.0 make Realtime an established leader in Web 3.0 app development?

Costa: I like to think it does. Gartner already said that the Web 3.0 (or "the next Web," as they call it) is all about real-time Web, and xRTML 3.0 is the right set of tools to start building it.

How can Realtime keep ahead of the competition?

Costa: Realtime lets developers build all new features in websites-or update existing ones-that can create a real difference for a company and its website or application. We all know that users are king and they will use our services or products (websites or applications) instead of the competition's if they enjoy ours most. This is common sense. Realtime does just that: it lets you build features and get your users to enjoy a better experience, a new experience, and thus prefer you over your competition.

Will xRTML become a standard?

Costa: That's something we are now reinforcing in the market with this release. These updates and new releases are the basis for something bigger, including the release of new products.

What in the low-hanging fruit for xRTML 3.0?

Costa: There are several industries and areas that can take advantage of xRTML 3.0 and the Realtime Framework in general. The usual suspects are financial and monitoring applications, as well as social tools, but any content publishing website will certainly benefit by using Realtime and be able to push content out in real time to its visitors. Auction and any e-commerce websites are also great examples and they can do amazing things. Another area I personally would like to see expand is gaming. With Realtime, companies can develop multiplatform, multiplayer, social games. Players can play with or against other players, no matter the platform or device. I could be at home playing an HTML5 version of the game on my browser and my friends could be playing on their tablets or smartphones. Different platforms, same communication layer: Realtime!

How will Realtime use the $100 million investment announced in August to push platform development and adoption?

Costa: As defined in our strategy, this budget is being used to optimize and develop ourproducts, with great focus on R&D. Everything that was done and is still being made for xRTML 3.0 is actually a direct example of this investment.

Where do we go from here - what can we look forward to in xRTML 4.0?

Costa: With the help of the development community and the amazing people we have working here in Realtime, we can expect some very interesting new features and tools coming our way in a not-so-distant future. Just stay tuned!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Costa: I'd like to invite developers to head to our website at www.realtime.co, register as a developer and try our tutorials at www.xrtml.org. Get in touch with us, share your creations and help us build the next iteration of the World Wide Web!

We've created some great new tutorials and new documentation. These are are brand new and very exciting since they help developers to start working with xRTML right now. They're interactive so you can see how everything works.

The documentation is a bit more clear, better organized and has a complete new layout. Developers should find things better and should be able to use it easier.

More Stories By Xenia von Wedel

Xenia von Wedel, Tech blogger and VP of Socialradius/San Francisco-San Jose. She mainly writes about B2B solutions, social media and open source software. SocialRadius is a full-service social media marketing agency, serving clients in a variety of industries worldwide. The agency is focused on thought leadership content creation and syndication, social media outreach and strategy.

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